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I have a habit. An irritating habit. I like to share YouTube videos on Facebook on even the smallest pretext. This leads to me basically spamming my own FB profile with videos each time I stop there. So far, I've managed to refrain from sharing The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson every time I burst out laughing.

Lately, I've been profile-spamming with Rory Gallagher videos every so often. Or rather, every time I go to YouTube in search of a Rory video. I'm in the mid-period stage of New Obsession, and it's just as well that YouTube wasn't around when I went through the same with The Beatles, or with Led Zeppelin or with Thin Lizzy or with The Doors, or with Dean Martin.

Amongst the videos I posted the other day was this:


I added the note"I wasn't going to clutter FB with any more tonight but the end of this is astonishing in its grand fabulousness." If you want to accuse me of being over the top, hyperbolic or just plain nuts, that's cool. I happen to think it's a very cool live exploration of the song that reaches a thoroughly satisfactory climax (oh, matron, etc etc) but part of my excitement was bound up in the newness: it was the first time I'd heard it in such an arrangement.

Now one of my friends on Facebook, the Fabulous Marie, clicked 'Like' on a few of the videos and I was glad that someone - anyone - had seen then. I get quite preachy when I fall down the rabbit hole for a musician, I know this. "OMG YOU MUST LISTEN! NO REALLY!". I know, and I'm at least less awful than I used to be (just ask anyone who was around when I fell down the Doors rabbit hole).

I posted a bunch of videos, and also, while I'm at it, the profound FB status message "RANDOM SCOTT GORHAM ON TV!" so it's fair to say I was in a particular frame of mind: the oh my god, rock music is all I care about and all I can think about frame of mind. Haven't been there for a while, and it was fun. So imagine the mixture of emotions the next day when I read an email alert that someone had replied to my posting of the above video.

"It's not as if he's the best or anything - do you just fancy him?"

On the face of it... it's just a slightly stupid, shallow remark. There's more to this than meets the eye, to borrow a phrase from the movie Help! (more on that later).

Let us examine this, because I'm still angry two days later. Leaving aside the quality judgement, because that's not the issue and is always going to be contentious in rock geek circles, the question.... do you just fancy him?

Exsqueeze me, baking powder? (another quote from another rock music movie). What did you just say? It was a boy who said it, for the record, called Adam. I have had several online discussions with him about music, the blues, Clapton and Gallagher. I know he falls on the side of Clapton. I do not. I only know him via my brother, so I can't claim to know him at all well. I can't speak to his motives or meanings behind the remark. I can only speak to how it feels to read such a remark. And I'm fucking well going to speak to it.

How dare you.

I was immediately put in mind of a fascinating feminist post over at Shakesville: The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck. If you, men and women, read nothing else about this post, click the link and read. I was put in mind because the question that came to me as I read the comment from Adam was: Swallow shit, or ruin the afternoon? As the article suggests, moments that wear/cut away at a woman's sense of self, worth, importance have already ruined the proverbial afternoon for them. So fuck it kids, I'm going to ruin the afternoon.

I am sick and tired - oh so weary - of being treated in a particular way for being a rock fan with a cunt. The number of times I've had men (and some women) patronise me, scorn me, outright mock or attack me for it... I took a Pop Music Culture class nearly a decade ago in which I had to stand up for myself - and all the other female rock fans - for wanting to love the music.

So let me ask a question. If a man posted four or five videos of a musician they liked a great deal, would 'do you fancy him' be a question that even occurred to anyone? Rock music is still so skewed towards men. That's fine, as long as they're good at it. I mean come on! My absolute favourite musicians are all men! This may be due to a conspicuous lack of choice in the female rock department.

Who is there? In mainstream rock music, I mean. There are the Bikini Kill and Riot Grrrl types who are to be respected and commended, but you can't call it mainstream... Who is there who ROCKS THE FUCK OUT while in possession of a vagina?

You're having trouble, aren't you? Don't worry, you're not the only ones: Rolling Stone's Immortals list has only four women in the top fifty, and Aretha (number nine) is a soul singer, Madonna's (36) a clotheshorse bandwagoner. Only the other two, Janis Joplin and Patti Smith, can even reasonably be considered to share the same space as the guys. I don't say this to deride the Queen or Madge, just to point out that they're not rockers. Janis and Patti are at places 46 and 47 respectively. The bottom fifty has six females/girl groups.

It's not because girls don't like rock music. It's not because they can't play it. It's because they're told they can't, or just plain told not to. I remember why I asked to learn the guitar when I was seven years old. I was watching Top of the Pops (a very long time ago, when I could still find something on there to like). I made the connection between rock music, guitars and cool pretty easily. I was a kid who had her own record player at the age of six and listened to Buddy Holly records. It was 1989. I wanted to play the guitar. The electric guitar like all those cool-as-fuck musicians. Can you imagine the disappointment I had to hide when my mummy took me to the music school and introduced me to my classical guitar teacher? I wanted to ROCK OUT but it had been assumed (I assume in turn) that it would be classical. I turned out to love my lessons and stuck with them from the age of ten to nineteen, and I only stopped them to go to university. (Sidenote: Mr Burden, you're a fucking legend.) But the assumption hurt.

For the record, I'm sitting within two feet of two guitars: a Fender California series electro-acoustic slice of gorgeousness and a gold copy-Strat. There's a bass (Fender jazz copy.) (rarely played) sitting in my spare room.

So anyway, I've been dealing with this shit for twenty years and it still stings. I wouldn't be writing this if Adam's remark didn't hurt a little. How can I explain without seeming like An Irrational Female or A Bitch? I can practically hear the TVTropes names forming. How can I adequately explain the shredding of my heart every time some ignorant tossmonkey suggests that the only reason I could ever love music is because I fancy the musician? My God, it still hurts, every single time, and partly on behalf of the musicians in question. What an insult it is to them to suggest that I could only love them for their face and body? (There is an argument to be made that Robert Plant asked for it).

I suppose it couldn't possibly be because of the music, could it? Or them as humans for being charismatic or intelligent, or funny? It couldn't be because of a MONSTER RIFF or a STONKING BASSLINE or a PROFOUND LYRIC? God, the mere idea of loving the Beatles for the music! Why didn't I think of that before? Whyever would I like Led Zeppelin for Jimmy's fourteen track guitar solos or for Bonzo's extended Moby Dick drum solo? (for the record: I actually love the version of Moby Dick that's in The Song Remains The Same).

I couldn't possibly like Rory Gallagher for his mad guitar skills, could I? Or his often excellent songwriting? There are a couple of his songs that are such excellent examples of their type that I assumed they were covers. 'Goin' To My Hometown' is a particularly excellent example. It couldn't possibly be because he brought an Irish lyricality to the blues and a deep authentic feeling that I have never once believed from Eric Clapton, could it? It couldn't be his dedication to the music, or the simple-but-effective live shows? No, I must fancy him.

A far more stinging and accurate mockery would've been to suggest I only like him for being Irish. It'd be more accurate than 'oooooh, you lurrrrrrve him!' but it'd still be wrong.

Why are women still barred from being considered 'proper' fans of anything? Why are we still having our motives questioned? Are we still tagged as groupies, no matter what we do? Are we all supposed to be crazy fangirls, as if my love of rock music is the same as a tinhat Supernatural fan's love of J2? Even if it is, what would be wrong with that? A guy can own thousands of records and be a fan, a girl could own the same and be tagged as a crazy fangirl.

I appreciate that the screaming girls since the Bobbysoxers have not helped the cause. However, you don't know what it was they loved, and not all fangirls are the same. Twihards right now are not helping, but it's possible - just possible - that they love the books above loving Robert Pattinson. Have you even asked?

Oh hey, Fact Fans! For all the crazy fangirls that clutter the internet and the world, it was a white man who killed John Lennon. To extend this further, a white man killed Jim Morrison, when you think about it.

I sit opposite a rock fan called Phil at work. We routinely drive everyone else mad by bickering, for one thing, and for droning about rock music for another. We also quote A Hard Day's Night and Help! at each other for a good portion of any given day. Swine flu has been particularly good for this: He's a swiiiiiiine. Phil can speak at length about the differences between the stereo and mono mixes of the Beatles records and on Friday spent some time waxing truly lyrical about the new remaster of Abbey Road. He is almost as much of a fan of several other bands. He dislikes my ironic love of Xanadu because that's when he finally gave up on ELO. He's seen Clapton tons of times. I don't believe he's ever been accused of being in love with any of the bands he likes.

Go over to YouTube and read the comments on Rory Gallagher videos:

Do please pardon my language.But Goddamn fuckin amazing ... 5:49 ... with the bass ... and the ... the ... oh god i love it .....  by someone called Brianlovesiobhan on the video above.

ah for feck sake!!!!!!! that was just unreal. Vids of Rory blow me away everytime! thanks a million for sharing! from someone called MonkeyMan198599, video and comment linked in quote.

Now, I can't be sure that these people (there are hundreds of similarly adoring comments on most of RG's videos, but I'm not going to spam you with them now) are men... but I can surmise it. I suppose that they too must fancy Rory? Or am I to understand that only men can be obsessive about music and that women must only be obsessive about musicians?

It's entirely possible for a woman to fall in love with a rock and roll musician. It's just as possible for her not to. It's actually a pretty complex set of emotions for me, so for someone to reduce it to do you just fancy him is infuriating. Even if I did explain, I don't think most people would be interested, which is fair enough, but don't reduce it to the lowest common denominator. I've sat for hours watching old concerts for these people, I've lost days of my life to listening to their records. I'm poor because of them. I've travelled the globe for them, I've stood at their graves. I've danced around the living room alone at 2 o'clock in the morning because of a funky song. I've read books. I've written dissertations and blog posts. I've laughed and I've cried. I've watched great documentaries and shit documentaries. I've defended and attacked them. I've fought their corners. I've sung their songs on stages. I've written songs about them. I've done all this because of the music.

To quote briefly from a long-ago post I made that was nominally about the Phantom of the Opera but was actually about Jim and Me:

It is a handy little extra that Jim Morrison is Adonis. It makes putting pictures of him up on the wall a genuine pleasure. It's always nice to have beautiful things to look at. But you don't get pictures when you're listening to a record. When it's just you and the vinyl, the only thing he has to win you over completely is his voice singing his words. No pout, no smirk or smoulder or trousers. There's none of the slumping onto microphones or falling into a heap. Only a voice.

Would I love Jim Morrison if he were ugly? I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a choice in the matter.

Note the phrase 'would I love' rather than 'would I be in love with'. To me, they're not the same thing. In fact, I believe I use the word 'love' as shorthand a lot of the time, because everyone understands love but they don't necessarily understand the rock fan - musician relationship. 'Love' is an easy way of avoiding exactly what I mean.

To quote briefly from a post I made in July 2007:

Without music I'd be dead. Or at least very, terribly hollow and dead inside. I might still live and breathe, but who would I be? I talk music most of the time, I think music even more. The only things that distract me from music are writing, movies and myself. That's it. There's nothing else.

I'm not saying you can't crush on musicians, can't be in love with them... it's just that it's not why a lot of us women love the music first and foremost and above everything else. To suggest that I could only love the music because of the man makes my stomach twist itself inside out because I love the music so much for itself. Yet, it's hard often to explain adequately how or why a piece of music is so important... but it's relatively easy to talk about people. I have talked about how I love Jim Morrison or any of the others - but it's not a crush. It's not romantic and never was. It was a depth of affection for someone who gave me that music. If Jim hadn't written those songs, I wouldn't give a flying rat's arse about him in or out of a shirt. I love the music, so I love them for the music. That doesn't give them a free pass to make shit music and it doesn't mean that I sit here daydreaming about them.

Wouldn't that be a waste of fucking time in my case, given that most of the bastards are dead?

I don't want to fuck or marry these people. I want to see them live in concert. When I hear the music I love, I feel alive. I feel like there's meaning to the world. I feel like there's wonder and brilliance in the world. I feel like I could fly. My heart soars or dips depending on the song. I get songs stuck in my head. Some songs make my blood run hot, some turn my blood cold. Some songs make me want to die. Others make me want to live. That makes you and me and all the other rock fans pretty much the same, whether we have a cock or a cunt, something else or none of the above. Amazing, right?

I'm going to leave you with a few choice quotes that, depending on your point of view, should leave you squirming and uncomfortable or punching the air triumphantly, mostly from women in music, because the only real difference between the person on stage and the person in the audience is what side of the security guard they can see.

People don't want to see women doing things they don't think women should do. Joan Jett

Girls have got balls. They're just a little higher up that's all. Joan Jett.

Aggressive, tough and defiant may describe me, but that leaves the impression I'm mean and I'm not. Joan Jett, again.

I figured out it was a social thing, what women were allowed to do. At a very young age, I decided I was not going to follow women's rules.  Joan Jett, once more. Has she had to spend her entire career explaining and defending her choice? (answer: Yes).

As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag. Patti Smith.

No, my work does not reflect my sexual preferences, it reflects the fact that I feel total freedom as an artist.  Patti Smith.

On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.  Janis Joplin

Some nights I look out and want to fuck the whole front row. Robert Plant

The so-called feminist writers were disgusted with me. I did my thing, and so I guess by feminist standards I'm a feminist. That suits me fine.  Chrissie Hynde

I dig music. The fictional musician Russell Hammond in Almost Famous, a film which didn't help the girl-fan (not fangirl) cause but was otherwise OK.

and a final word from one of our sponsors:

You know, people can't fall in love with me just because I'm good at what I do. Robert Plant, 1977 (I'd be interested in the context of this quote if anyone has it).
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I have a habit. An irritating habit. I like to share YouTube videos on Facebook on even the smallest pretext. This leads to me basically spamming my own FB profile with videos each time I stop there. So far, I've managed to refrain from sharing The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson every time I burst out laughing.

Lately, I've been profile-spamming with Rory Gallagher videos every so often. Or rather, every time I go to YouTube in search of a Rory video. I'm in the mid-period stage of New Obsession, and it's just as well that YouTube wasn't around when I went through the same with The Beatles, or with Led Zeppelin or with Thin Lizzy or with The Doors, or with Dean Martin.

Amongst the videos I posted the other day was this:


I added the note"I wasn't going to clutter FB with any more tonight but the end of this is astonishing in its grand fabulousness." If you want to accuse me of being over the top, hyperbolic or just plain nuts, that's cool. I happen to think it's a very cool live exploration of the song that reaches a thoroughly satisfactory climax (oh, matron, etc etc) but part of my excitement was bound up in the newness: it was the first time I'd heard it in such an arrangement.

Now one of my friends on Facebook, the Fabulous Marie, clicked 'Like' on a few of the videos and I was glad that someone - anyone - had seen then. I get quite preachy when I fall down the rabbit hole for a musician, I know this. "OMG YOU MUST LISTEN! NO REALLY!". I know, and I'm at least less awful than I used to be (just ask anyone who was around when I fell down the Doors rabbit hole).

I posted a bunch of videos, and also, while I'm at it, the profound FB status message "RANDOM SCOTT GORHAM ON TV!" so it's fair to say I was in a particular frame of mind: the oh my god, rock music is all I care about and all I can think about frame of mind. Haven't been there for a while, and it was fun. So imagine the mixture of emotions the next day when I read an email alert that someone had replied to my posting of the above video.

"It's not as if he's the best or anything - do you just fancy him?"

On the face of it... it's just a slightly stupid, shallow remark. There's more to this than meets the eye, to borrow a phrase from the movie Help! (more on that later).

Let us examine this, because I'm still angry two days later. Leaving aside the quality judgement, because that's not the issue and is always going to be contentious in rock geek circles, the question.... do you just fancy him?

Exsqueeze me, baking powder? (another quote from another rock music movie). What did you just say? It was a boy who said it, for the record, called Adam. I have had several online discussions with him about music, the blues, Clapton and Gallagher. I know he falls on the side of Clapton. I do not. I only know him via my brother, so I can't claim to know him at all well. I can't speak to his motives or meanings behind the remark. I can only speak to how it feels to read such a remark. And I'm fucking well going to speak to it.

How dare you.

I was immediately put in mind of a fascinating feminist post over at Shakesville: The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck. If you, men and women, read nothing else about this post, click the link and read. I was put in mind because the question that came to me as I read the comment from Adam was: Swallow shit, or ruin the afternoon? As the article suggests, moments that wear/cut away at a woman's sense of self, worth, importance have already ruined the proverbial afternoon for them. So fuck it kids, I'm going to ruin the afternoon.

I am sick and tired - oh so weary - of being treated in a particular way for being a rock fan with a cunt. The number of times I've had men (and some women) patronise me, scorn me, outright mock or attack me for it... I took a Pop Music Culture class nearly a decade ago in which I had to stand up for myself - and all the other female rock fans - for wanting to love the music.

So let me ask a question. If a man posted four or five videos of a musician they liked a great deal, would 'do you fancy him' be a question that even occurred to anyone? Rock music is still so skewed towards men. That's fine, as long as they're good at it. I mean come on! My absolute favourite musicians are all men! This may be due to a conspicuous lack of choice in the female rock department.

Who is there? In mainstream rock music, I mean. There are the Bikini Kill and Riot Grrrl types who are to be respected and commended, but you can't call it mainstream... Who is there who ROCKS THE FUCK OUT while in possession of a vagina?

You're having trouble, aren't you? Don't worry, you're not the only ones: Rolling Stone's Immortals list has only four women in the top fifty, and Aretha (number nine) is a soul singer, Madonna's (36) a clotheshorse bandwagoner. Only the other two, Janis Joplin and Patti Smith, can even reasonably be considered to share the same space as the guys. I don't say this to deride the Queen or Madge, just to point out that they're not rockers. Janis and Patti are at places 46 and 47 respectively. The bottom fifty has six females/girl groups.

It's not because girls don't like rock music. It's not because they can't play it. It's because they're told they can't, or just plain told not to. I remember why I asked to learn the guitar when I was seven years old. I was watching Top of the Pops (a very long time ago, when I could still find something on there to like). I made the connection between rock music, guitars and cool pretty easily. I was a kid who had her own record player at the age of six and listened to Buddy Holly records. It was 1989. I wanted to play the guitar. The electric guitar like all those cool-as-fuck musicians. Can you imagine the disappointment I had to hide when my mummy took me to the music school and introduced me to my classical guitar teacher? I wanted to ROCK OUT but it had been assumed (I assume in turn) that it would be classical. I turned out to love my lessons and stuck with them from the age of ten to nineteen, and I only stopped them to go to university. (Sidenote: Mr Burden, you're a fucking legend.) But the assumption hurt.

For the record, I'm sitting within two feet of two guitars: a Fender California series electro-acoustic slice of gorgeousness and a gold copy-Strat. There's a bass (Fender jazz copy.) (rarely played) sitting in my spare room.

So anyway, I've been dealing with this shit for twenty years and it still stings. I wouldn't be writing this if Adam's remark didn't hurt a little. How can I explain without seeming like An Irrational Female or A Bitch? I can practically hear the TVTropes names forming. How can I adequately explain the shredding of my heart every time some ignorant tossmonkey suggests that the only reason I could ever love music is because I fancy the musician? My God, it still hurts, every single time, and partly on behalf of the musicians in question. What an insult it is to them to suggest that I could only love them for their face and body? (There is an argument to be made that Robert Plant asked for it).

I suppose it couldn't possibly be because of the music, could it? Or them as humans for being charismatic or intelligent, or funny? It couldn't be because of a MONSTER RIFF or a STONKING BASSLINE or a PROFOUND LYRIC? God, the mere idea of loving the Beatles for the music! Why didn't I think of that before? Whyever would I like Led Zeppelin for Jimmy's fourteen track guitar solos or for Bonzo's extended Moby Dick drum solo? (for the record: I actually love the version of Moby Dick that's in The Song Remains The Same).

I couldn't possibly like Rory Gallagher for his mad guitar skills, could I? Or his often excellent songwriting? There are a couple of his songs that are such excellent examples of their type that I assumed they were covers. 'Goin' To My Hometown' is a particularly excellent example. It couldn't possibly be because he brought an Irish lyricality to the blues and a deep authentic feeling that I have never once believed from Eric Clapton, could it? It couldn't be his dedication to the music, or the simple-but-effective live shows? No, I must fancy him.

A far more stinging and accurate mockery would've been to suggest I only like him for being Irish. It'd be more accurate than 'oooooh, you lurrrrrrve him!' but it'd still be wrong.

Why are women still barred from being considered 'proper' fans of anything? Why are we still having our motives questioned? Are we still tagged as groupies, no matter what we do? Are we all supposed to be crazy fangirls, as if my love of rock music is the same as a tinhat Supernatural fan's love of J2? Even if it is, what would be wrong with that? A guy can own thousands of records and be a fan, a girl could own the same and be tagged as a crazy fangirl.

I appreciate that the screaming girls since the Bobbysoxers have not helped the cause. However, you don't know what it was they loved, and not all fangirls are the same. Twihards right now are not helping, but it's possible - just possible - that they love the books above loving Robert Pattinson. Have you even asked?

Oh hey, Fact Fans! For all the crazy fangirls that clutter the internet and the world, it was a white man who killed John Lennon. To extend this further, a white man killed Jim Morrison, when you think about it.

I sit opposite a rock fan called Phil at work. We routinely drive everyone else mad by bickering, for one thing, and for droning about rock music for another. We also quote A Hard Day's Night and Help! at each other for a good portion of any given day. Swine flu has been particularly good for this: He's a swiiiiiiine. Phil can speak at length about the differences between the stereo and mono mixes of the Beatles records and on Friday spent some time waxing truly lyrical about the new remaster of Abbey Road. He is almost as much of a fan of several other bands. He dislikes my ironic love of Xanadu because that's when he finally gave up on ELO. He's seen Clapton tons of times. I don't believe he's ever been accused of being in love with any of the bands he likes.

Go over to YouTube and read the comments on Rory Gallagher videos:

Do please pardon my language.But Goddamn fuckin amazing ... 5:49 ... with the bass ... and the ... the ... oh god i love it .....  by someone called Brianlovesiobhan on the video above.

ah for feck sake!!!!!!! that was just unreal. Vids of Rory blow me away everytime! thanks a million for sharing! from someone called MonkeyMan198599, video and comment linked in quote.

Now, I can't be sure that these people (there are hundreds of similarly adoring comments on most of RG's videos, but I'm not going to spam you with them now) are men... but I can surmise it. I suppose that they too must fancy Rory? Or am I to understand that only men can be obsessive about music and that women must only be obsessive about musicians?

It's entirely possible for a woman to fall in love with a rock and roll musician. It's just as possible for her not to. It's actually a pretty complex set of emotions for me, so for someone to reduce it to do you just fancy him is infuriating. Even if I did explain, I don't think most people would be interested, which is fair enough, but don't reduce it to the lowest common denominator. I've sat for hours watching old concerts for these people, I've lost days of my life to listening to their records. I'm poor because of them. I've travelled the globe for them, I've stood at their graves. I've danced around the living room alone at 2 o'clock in the morning because of a funky song. I've read books. I've written dissertations and blog posts. I've laughed and I've cried. I've watched great documentaries and shit documentaries. I've defended and attacked them. I've fought their corners. I've sung their songs on stages. I've written songs about them. I've done all this because of the music.

To quote briefly from a long-ago post I made that was nominally about the Phantom of the Opera but was actually about Jim and Me:

It is a handy little extra that Jim Morrison is Adonis. It makes putting pictures of him up on the wall a genuine pleasure. It's always nice to have beautiful things to look at. But you don't get pictures when you're listening to a record. When it's just you and the vinyl, the only thing he has to win you over completely is his voice singing his words. No pout, no smirk or smoulder or trousers. There's none of the slumping onto microphones or falling into a heap. Only a voice.

Would I love Jim Morrison if he were ugly? I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a choice in the matter.

Note the phrase 'would I love' rather than 'would I be in love with'. To me, they're not the same thing. In fact, I believe I use the word 'love' as shorthand a lot of the time, because everyone understands love but they don't necessarily understand the rock fan - musician relationship. 'Love' is an easy way of avoiding exactly what I mean.

To quote briefly from a post I made in July 2007:

Without music I'd be dead. Or at least very, terribly hollow and dead inside. I might still live and breathe, but who would I be? I talk music most of the time, I think music even more. The only things that distract me from music are writing, movies and myself. That's it. There's nothing else.

I'm not saying you can't crush on musicians, can't be in love with them... it's just that it's not why a lot of us women love the music first and foremost and above everything else. To suggest that I could only love the music because of the man makes my stomach twist itself inside out because I love the music so much for itself. Yet, it's hard often to explain adequately how or why a piece of music is so important... but it's relatively easy to talk about people. I have talked about how I love Jim Morrison or any of the others - but it's not a crush. It's not romantic and never was. It was a depth of affection for someone who gave me that music. If Jim hadn't written those songs, I wouldn't give a flying rat's arse about him in or out of a shirt. I love the music, so I love them for the music. That doesn't give them a free pass to make shit music and it doesn't mean that I sit here daydreaming about them.

Wouldn't that be a waste of fucking time in my case, given that most of the bastards are dead?

I don't want to fuck or marry these people. I want to see them live in concert. When I hear the music I love, I feel alive. I feel like there's meaning to the world. I feel like there's wonder and brilliance in the world. I feel like I could fly. My heart soars or dips depending on the song. I get songs stuck in my head. Some songs make my blood run hot, some turn my blood cold. Some songs make me want to die. Others make me want to live. That makes you and me and all the other rock fans pretty much the same, whether we have a cock or a cunt, something else or none of the above. Amazing, right?

I'm going to leave you with a few choice quotes that, depending on your point of view, should leave you squirming and uncomfortable or punching the air triumphantly, mostly from women in music, because the only real difference between the person on stage and the person in the audience is what side of the security guard they can see.

People don't want to see women doing things they don't think women should do. Joan Jett

Girls have got balls. They're just a little higher up that's all. Joan Jett.

Aggressive, tough and defiant may describe me, but that leaves the impression I'm mean and I'm not. Joan Jett, again.

I figured out it was a social thing, what women were allowed to do. At a very young age, I decided I was not going to follow women's rules.  Joan Jett, once more. Has she had to spend her entire career explaining and defending her choice? (answer: Yes).

As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag. Patti Smith.

No, my work does not reflect my sexual preferences, it reflects the fact that I feel total freedom as an artist.  Patti Smith.

On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.  Janis Joplin

Some nights I look out and want to fuck the whole front row. Robert Plant

The so-called feminist writers were disgusted with me. I did my thing, and so I guess by feminist standards I'm a feminist. That suits me fine.  Chrissie Hynde

I dig music. The fictional musician Russell Hammond in Almost Famous, a film which didn't help the girl-fan (not fangirl) cause but was otherwise OK.

and a final word from one of our sponsors:

You know, people can't fall in love with me just because I'm good at what I do. Robert Plant, 1977 (I'd be interested in the context of this quote if anyone has it).
apolla: (Rock and Roll)
Looks like Jimmy can't be bothered dyeing his hair anymore:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6917449.stm


God love a man who can spend his career ripping off bluesmen (and women) then turn around and hate the bootleggers.

Actually, I agree with him. There's a WORLD of difference between people sharing with their mates and those people who do it to make money. The RIAA would do well to note the difference.

I think it's an oddly taken photo, but Jimmy looks so fucking old. OLD. Not just not-young, but old. He's, what, five years older than Robert, but Robert still looks like, well, a golden god. Maybe it's because Perce doesn't stand still and one gets the distinct feeling that Jimmy has sat in a dark room collating Zeppelin stuff for the last twenty years.

It's not about hair dye - I couldn't care less what the not-so-dark angel looks like but... he just seems old.

Team Perce, forever!
apolla: (Rock and Roll)
Looks like Jimmy can't be bothered dyeing his hair anymore:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6917449.stm


God love a man who can spend his career ripping off bluesmen (and women) then turn around and hate the bootleggers.

Actually, I agree with him. There's a WORLD of difference between people sharing with their mates and those people who do it to make money. The RIAA would do well to note the difference.

I think it's an oddly taken photo, but Jimmy looks so fucking old. OLD. Not just not-young, but old. He's, what, five years older than Robert, but Robert still looks like, well, a golden god. Maybe it's because Perce doesn't stand still and one gets the distinct feeling that Jimmy has sat in a dark room collating Zeppelin stuff for the last twenty years.

It's not about hair dye - I couldn't care less what the not-so-dark angel looks like but... he just seems old.

Team Perce, forever!
apolla: (Percy)
Robert Plant. That name has stirred a number of emotions within me over the years. First was the vague kind of recognition that I have about a lot of things, and you know, I don't remember the first time I heard of him. Then came idle curiosity- who is this man in this band of whom so much has been said, done and written? Who is this man with the sub-Parton hair and the spray-on jeans?

I can't lie to you: it's not like Led Zeppelin has always been a part of my life. My dad doesn't dislike that kind of music so much as just completely disregard it, so it wasn't on the record player when I was young, unlike Buddy Holly or Elvis. I had to find these guys on my own, and it's funny, but it was less obvious than The Doors were. Huh. Well anyway, I know I had IV with me when I went to California. Within a year, I'd bought a bunch of the other records too- I remember really hearing Houses of the Holy for the first time in Lancaster. Traveling Riverside Blues was one of the first Zep videos I saw on Vh1 Classic, and I loved it. Ironically of course, it's not even something they released at the time. 

As some of you know, I was in love with these guys from the start- there was never a real middle ground between me and The Zep. I believe, in fact, thinking on it, that the great love for Zeppelin began at around the same time this blog caper started. If I'm right. I don't remember what I was listening to that Summer, but I think Zeppelin featured quite strongly. Thin Lizzy got a mention in mid-December 2002 "listening to a lot of Thin Lizzy lately, interspersed with Nat King Cole." Robert got his first, seemingly throwaway mention on 28th December 2002... but sure, don't you know these things are never throwaway with me when it comes to rock and roll: "One of my dreams, my very real dreams is to be a rock musician. I want to be the girl who makes it in the last bastion of masculinity. Of course, I'm not exactly feminine. I want to be Jim and Robert Plant and Phil and John all rolled up into one."

The Zeppelin (and beyond that Robert alone) turned out to be the antibiotic for the Doors infection I had. That nearly destroyed me (and I'm not convinced I'm out the woods even now) but Led Zeppelin (and my actual friends, I hasten to add) pulled me out of the hole. Say what you like about them, but it's hard to be miserable when you listen to Led Zeppelin. Call them crass, sexist or whatever, but they're so rarely depressing... unlike the Doors, who were crass, sexist and depressing for quite a proportion of their recording career.

You know, the first person I noticed in Zeppelin was Jimmy. I thought that it (and by extension I myself) was all about the guitar sound back then, but now I know there's more than that. I'm not about any particular thing any more, although guitars are my great love, because I know that for all the guitar skill in the world, no twenty-minute guitar solo is bearable unless there's a great singer coming up. Actually, I'd ask most guitarists to put a lid on it somewhere around the fifteen minute mark. Less is more, etc etc.

There's one big, glaring difference between Robert Plant and some of the other people who get their mentions here a lot. It's perhaps so glaring that you haven't thought of it, or perhaps you have. It's this: Robert Plant is alive. Imagine the novelty, the sheer scuffing novelty of having a hero that was and remains gloriously, wonderously alive!

It's that novelty, and I maintain that alone, which led to something I have refused to acknowledge openly and publicly until now (except to The Best Friend. She's exempt from the definition of 'public'). I have, in my time, had a monster of a crush on Robert Plant. I mean, one of those all-consuming, can't-sleep can't-eat crushes. One of those childish, girlish live-happily-ever-after fucking crushes. Don't laugh. I know you mostly guessed, because I didn't hide it so much as try to dodge it. I'm sure you mostly find it really funny or whatever. I never did.

I mean come on, try to imagine that there's this voice you can't live without. Really can't stand to be away from it. Plant's voice isn't the only one of those I've got, and he certainly wasn't the first or last or greatest. But for awhile, it caused me genuine anxiety to be away from it, genuine stress. Now try to imagine that you believe yourself in love with the owner of said voice. Done? Right, now imagine that he's thirty-three years older than you are, with children a decade older than you. Now imagine that you know all the shit he's done down the years, apocryphal, seafood-based or otherwise.

Now try and reconcile all of that to the concept 'happy-ever-after' and see what it does to your head. Sure, I had a monster crush on old Perce, but it wasn't out of choice. Even at the time, I was sure it was the novelty of the guy being alive. Then again, that does a disservice to him and to the dead guys, because I don't think I'd be in love with Philip or with Jim if they were alive, at least not in a straightforward romantic sense. It's never been that fucking simple with these people.

I've had crushes in my time. Going back to find my first mention of Percy on LJ, I discovered that back in late 2002, I had apparently had a crush on Josh Hartnett. Not only had I forgotten this, I don't even remember how it felt. It can't have lasted long, although I'm sure there was something in California. I don't remember. My very first crush is currently buggering about with David Gest in the jungle (this very sentence is the kind of thing he'd sue over as well ;) ). It's not like I haven't had crushes in my time: I'm not actually dead inside, I just live as if I were. There's a difference, of course: I'd forgotten about the bloke from the Unwatchable Pearl Harbor... but the day I forget about Robert Plant is the day I enter Hell.

Because no, it wasn't just the novelty. It wasn't based on the fucking trousers, nor the hair, nor the smile. No, these are the things silly girl crushes are made of and those always die. The crush on Percy did, although he's still beautiful, the trousers are still DVT inducing and the smile is still a killer. No, rock loves never die, because rock never dies. As long as you love the music, I'll love the man. It's possible, it's utterly, utterly possible, to look at these people and see their beauty and their charm without falling in love with it. Sure, I did it with Scott Gorham for years, I've done it with Dean Martin and Jimmy Page, with George and John and Ringo and Paul, with all the people you could mention that I have loved and respected. I'll tell you at length why these people are wondrous, why they're worthy of my devotion. Jim Morrison's a special case because he exists on a different, but still non-romantic plane of thought. Philip Lynott too. These guys, by dying, have given me other things, they each exist in my world for reasons apart from everyone else. One is the demon on my left shoulder and the other is the demon on my right, obviously.

I'm getting off the point I came here to make. Nine Lives came out today, which is a boxed set (in time for Christmas! How handy, as if it had been meticulously planned!)  of Robert Plant's solo records, right from Pictures at Eleven to Mighty Rearranger. Sure, I had four or five of them already, but there was a DVD with a documentary and twenty music videos from the last twenty-five years and so I handed over fifty quid without a thought. It's a rock fool thing, OK?

I have been reminded of all the reasons it is so easy to love this guy. He's always been teetering on the line between sublime and ridiculous, and crosses onto either side as often as the other. These videos have been at times, laugh out loud ridiculous, but the music is almost always sublime. He can't dance and never could. The kind of clothes he's worn down the years makes me want to take a machete to his wardrobe and the videos look, on occasion, like they were made by two tone-deaf eight-year-olds with a budget of no more than £5.25 and a packet of Frazzles. His relationship to the truth is a bit ropey- his answers to the Shark Incident question have been different every time he's been asked since it happened. "I honestly don't remember." "Nothing to do with me, honest, Guv." "Oh yeah, that happened, although it weren't me, Guv. Took the wife in to have a look." "Oh, it was Richard Cole and Bonzo, I wasn't there." "It was just Richard Cole. None of us were there." "Oh yeah, we were all there."  Then there's his Q interview awhile back where he swears that he never cheated on his wife throughout his Zeppelin career. Now, the tone of the conversation isn't sufficiently put across, but I don't believe that as far as I can throw Arnie in a Humvee. His arrogance at the height of Zeppelin is almost sickening: "Some days I look out and want to fuck the whole front row." Moreoever, the Golden God moment. And for the love of God, the man has willingly recorded music with Phil Collins, more than once.

Then again, he's always been funny and remarkably self-effacing. In that same Q interview, when asked what he'd like to say of his Eighties output, he replied: "Is 'sorry' enough?" Adorable, innee?

Moreover, he's never rested on the laurels chucked at him in his Led Zeppelin days. Forgive me for now sounding like a sycophantic music magazine article, but he has never stayed still. He's got the music that he's always loved from the fifties, he's always had the blues, but he's found other things to love also. The music has never been quite the same, and it's never been created for the consumption of thousands. Led Zeppelin were a stadium band, but Robert Plant is an act one should see in small places, like Somerset House as the sun sets behind him when the air is heavy with rain that he seems to be keeping at bay with his superpowers. Led Zeppelin were a band to sell millions of records and take over radio. Robert Plant is an act for the believers, for the people who love music, for the people willing to put some effort in. Led Zeppelin are a band to giggle over, to joke about tight trousers and big hair and sharks. Robert Plant is a singer to listen to and take notice of on a higher plane of existence.

Robert Plant is an incredibly well-travelled, intelligent and articulate person who actually thinks about the music he writes and sings... which is why the Small Faces thing was such a fucking disappointment to me... but this box proves that a moment's outright plagiarism (only in my opinion, of couse) has been smashed to pieces by a solo career that, for sheer scope and originality has not been equalled by anyone in rock music who was ever in a band. Not McCartney, nor Harrison, nor Lennon. Not any Stone or Lizzy, nor any Door. I dare you, I challenge you all, to equal it. Let me rephrase that: Plenty of musicians are eclectic, searching for all kinds in all places... but do they sound like him as well?

His voice still makes my soul soar. The 'Going To California' rendition this summer at Somerset House made me weep. A fucking song, one that's never been my favourite, made me weep for the beauty of it. My crush, that silly thing, died out after a few months... but the song remains the same, the voice is still the thing that captures my being and makes it joyful. Jim Morrison is the dark shadow on my soul... and Robert Plant is the light that helps it fade.

I don't care about shit 80s videos, Phil Collins collaborations, curly mullets, whatever... I think that since Bonzo died, Plant has been making the records he wants to make, and I love that. Because it's the music I love, because it's the man I respect and not the other way around, it doesn't end. Crushes end, but it's impossible to fall out of love with the music you adore. I'll love Robert Plant forever, but not in the way most people will assume. It has nothing to do with silver and turquoise jewellery or jeans or hair or legends and myths and the nonsense. It is the music, it is that voice, that scuffing indefinable voice. Once that has you in its grip, you can't fall out of love with it: it will not let you.

He can't dance and has no sense of personal rhythm. He has some of the worst dress sense I've ever seen. These days he has a face like a bag of chamois leathers. But God, I adore that man. It's true: a beautiful voice makes most things seem so trivial, and it makes for a real love that lasts for always.
apolla: (Percy)
Robert Plant. That name has stirred a number of emotions within me over the years. First was the vague kind of recognition that I have about a lot of things, and you know, I don't remember the first time I heard of him. Then came idle curiosity- who is this man in this band of whom so much has been said, done and written? Who is this man with the sub-Parton hair and the spray-on jeans?

I can't lie to you: it's not like Led Zeppelin has always been a part of my life. My dad doesn't dislike that kind of music so much as just completely disregard it, so it wasn't on the record player when I was young, unlike Buddy Holly or Elvis. I had to find these guys on my own, and it's funny, but it was less obvious than The Doors were. Huh. Well anyway, I know I had IV with me when I went to California. Within a year, I'd bought a bunch of the other records too- I remember really hearing Houses of the Holy for the first time in Lancaster. Traveling Riverside Blues was one of the first Zep videos I saw on Vh1 Classic, and I loved it. Ironically of course, it's not even something they released at the time. 

As some of you know, I was in love with these guys from the start- there was never a real middle ground between me and The Zep. I believe, in fact, thinking on it, that the great love for Zeppelin began at around the same time this blog caper started. If I'm right. I don't remember what I was listening to that Summer, but I think Zeppelin featured quite strongly. Thin Lizzy got a mention in mid-December 2002 "listening to a lot of Thin Lizzy lately, interspersed with Nat King Cole." Robert got his first, seemingly throwaway mention on 28th December 2002... but sure, don't you know these things are never throwaway with me when it comes to rock and roll: "One of my dreams, my very real dreams is to be a rock musician. I want to be the girl who makes it in the last bastion of masculinity. Of course, I'm not exactly feminine. I want to be Jim and Robert Plant and Phil and John all rolled up into one."

The Zeppelin (and beyond that Robert alone) turned out to be the antibiotic for the Doors infection I had. That nearly destroyed me (and I'm not convinced I'm out the woods even now) but Led Zeppelin (and my actual friends, I hasten to add) pulled me out of the hole. Say what you like about them, but it's hard to be miserable when you listen to Led Zeppelin. Call them crass, sexist or whatever, but they're so rarely depressing... unlike the Doors, who were crass, sexist and depressing for quite a proportion of their recording career.

You know, the first person I noticed in Zeppelin was Jimmy. I thought that it (and by extension I myself) was all about the guitar sound back then, but now I know there's more than that. I'm not about any particular thing any more, although guitars are my great love, because I know that for all the guitar skill in the world, no twenty-minute guitar solo is bearable unless there's a great singer coming up. Actually, I'd ask most guitarists to put a lid on it somewhere around the fifteen minute mark. Less is more, etc etc.

There's one big, glaring difference between Robert Plant and some of the other people who get their mentions here a lot. It's perhaps so glaring that you haven't thought of it, or perhaps you have. It's this: Robert Plant is alive. Imagine the novelty, the sheer scuffing novelty of having a hero that was and remains gloriously, wonderously alive!

It's that novelty, and I maintain that alone, which led to something I have refused to acknowledge openly and publicly until now (except to The Best Friend. She's exempt from the definition of 'public'). I have, in my time, had a monster of a crush on Robert Plant. I mean, one of those all-consuming, can't-sleep can't-eat crushes. One of those childish, girlish live-happily-ever-after fucking crushes. Don't laugh. I know you mostly guessed, because I didn't hide it so much as try to dodge it. I'm sure you mostly find it really funny or whatever. I never did.

I mean come on, try to imagine that there's this voice you can't live without. Really can't stand to be away from it. Plant's voice isn't the only one of those I've got, and he certainly wasn't the first or last or greatest. But for awhile, it caused me genuine anxiety to be away from it, genuine stress. Now try to imagine that you believe yourself in love with the owner of said voice. Done? Right, now imagine that he's thirty-three years older than you are, with children a decade older than you. Now imagine that you know all the shit he's done down the years, apocryphal, seafood-based or otherwise.

Now try and reconcile all of that to the concept 'happy-ever-after' and see what it does to your head. Sure, I had a monster crush on old Perce, but it wasn't out of choice. Even at the time, I was sure it was the novelty of the guy being alive. Then again, that does a disservice to him and to the dead guys, because I don't think I'd be in love with Philip or with Jim if they were alive, at least not in a straightforward romantic sense. It's never been that fucking simple with these people.

I've had crushes in my time. Going back to find my first mention of Percy on LJ, I discovered that back in late 2002, I had apparently had a crush on Josh Hartnett. Not only had I forgotten this, I don't even remember how it felt. It can't have lasted long, although I'm sure there was something in California. I don't remember. My very first crush is currently buggering about with David Gest in the jungle (this very sentence is the kind of thing he'd sue over as well ;) ). It's not like I haven't had crushes in my time: I'm not actually dead inside, I just live as if I were. There's a difference, of course: I'd forgotten about the bloke from the Unwatchable Pearl Harbor... but the day I forget about Robert Plant is the day I enter Hell.

Because no, it wasn't just the novelty. It wasn't based on the fucking trousers, nor the hair, nor the smile. No, these are the things silly girl crushes are made of and those always die. The crush on Percy did, although he's still beautiful, the trousers are still DVT inducing and the smile is still a killer. No, rock loves never die, because rock never dies. As long as you love the music, I'll love the man. It's possible, it's utterly, utterly possible, to look at these people and see their beauty and their charm without falling in love with it. Sure, I did it with Scott Gorham for years, I've done it with Dean Martin and Jimmy Page, with George and John and Ringo and Paul, with all the people you could mention that I have loved and respected. I'll tell you at length why these people are wondrous, why they're worthy of my devotion. Jim Morrison's a special case because he exists on a different, but still non-romantic plane of thought. Philip Lynott too. These guys, by dying, have given me other things, they each exist in my world for reasons apart from everyone else. One is the demon on my left shoulder and the other is the demon on my right, obviously.

I'm getting off the point I came here to make. Nine Lives came out today, which is a boxed set (in time for Christmas! How handy, as if it had been meticulously planned!)  of Robert Plant's solo records, right from Pictures at Eleven to Mighty Rearranger. Sure, I had four or five of them already, but there was a DVD with a documentary and twenty music videos from the last twenty-five years and so I handed over fifty quid without a thought. It's a rock fool thing, OK?

I have been reminded of all the reasons it is so easy to love this guy. He's always been teetering on the line between sublime and ridiculous, and crosses onto either side as often as the other. These videos have been at times, laugh out loud ridiculous, but the music is almost always sublime. He can't dance and never could. The kind of clothes he's worn down the years makes me want to take a machete to his wardrobe and the videos look, on occasion, like they were made by two tone-deaf eight-year-olds with a budget of no more than £5.25 and a packet of Frazzles. His relationship to the truth is a bit ropey- his answers to the Shark Incident question have been different every time he's been asked since it happened. "I honestly don't remember." "Nothing to do with me, honest, Guv." "Oh yeah, that happened, although it weren't me, Guv. Took the wife in to have a look." "Oh, it was Richard Cole and Bonzo, I wasn't there." "It was just Richard Cole. None of us were there." "Oh yeah, we were all there."  Then there's his Q interview awhile back where he swears that he never cheated on his wife throughout his Zeppelin career. Now, the tone of the conversation isn't sufficiently put across, but I don't believe that as far as I can throw Arnie in a Humvee. His arrogance at the height of Zeppelin is almost sickening: "Some days I look out and want to fuck the whole front row." Moreoever, the Golden God moment. And for the love of God, the man has willingly recorded music with Phil Collins, more than once.

Then again, he's always been funny and remarkably self-effacing. In that same Q interview, when asked what he'd like to say of his Eighties output, he replied: "Is 'sorry' enough?" Adorable, innee?

Moreover, he's never rested on the laurels chucked at him in his Led Zeppelin days. Forgive me for now sounding like a sycophantic music magazine article, but he has never stayed still. He's got the music that he's always loved from the fifties, he's always had the blues, but he's found other things to love also. The music has never been quite the same, and it's never been created for the consumption of thousands. Led Zeppelin were a stadium band, but Robert Plant is an act one should see in small places, like Somerset House as the sun sets behind him when the air is heavy with rain that he seems to be keeping at bay with his superpowers. Led Zeppelin were a band to sell millions of records and take over radio. Robert Plant is an act for the believers, for the people who love music, for the people willing to put some effort in. Led Zeppelin are a band to giggle over, to joke about tight trousers and big hair and sharks. Robert Plant is a singer to listen to and take notice of on a higher plane of existence.

Robert Plant is an incredibly well-travelled, intelligent and articulate person who actually thinks about the music he writes and sings... which is why the Small Faces thing was such a fucking disappointment to me... but this box proves that a moment's outright plagiarism (only in my opinion, of couse) has been smashed to pieces by a solo career that, for sheer scope and originality has not been equalled by anyone in rock music who was ever in a band. Not McCartney, nor Harrison, nor Lennon. Not any Stone or Lizzy, nor any Door. I dare you, I challenge you all, to equal it. Let me rephrase that: Plenty of musicians are eclectic, searching for all kinds in all places... but do they sound like him as well?

His voice still makes my soul soar. The 'Going To California' rendition this summer at Somerset House made me weep. A fucking song, one that's never been my favourite, made me weep for the beauty of it. My crush, that silly thing, died out after a few months... but the song remains the same, the voice is still the thing that captures my being and makes it joyful. Jim Morrison is the dark shadow on my soul... and Robert Plant is the light that helps it fade.

I don't care about shit 80s videos, Phil Collins collaborations, curly mullets, whatever... I think that since Bonzo died, Plant has been making the records he wants to make, and I love that. Because it's the music I love, because it's the man I respect and not the other way around, it doesn't end. Crushes end, but it's impossible to fall out of love with the music you adore. I'll love Robert Plant forever, but not in the way most people will assume. It has nothing to do with silver and turquoise jewellery or jeans or hair or legends and myths and the nonsense. It is the music, it is that voice, that scuffing indefinable voice. Once that has you in its grip, you can't fall out of love with it: it will not let you.

He can't dance and has no sense of personal rhythm. He has some of the worst dress sense I've ever seen. These days he has a face like a bag of chamois leathers. But God, I adore that man. It's true: a beautiful voice makes most things seem so trivial, and it makes for a real love that lasts for always.
apolla: (OTP)
Heather Mills really will do anything, won't she? Even if her accusations (including that Paul beat Linda) are true... wouldn't it have been best to keep it in the courtroom and not everywhere else?

Still, he wouldn't be the only Beatle to have suffered from a giant ego or beaten his wife. He has taken all manner of drugs and quite openly said so. He does drink, sometimes to excess. He does surround himself with people too willing to do exactly what he wants. Still, I find it hard to believe his children would adore him so much if he'd beaten their mother. I don't know. I hope that it's all false- I'd rather believe her a mental fantasist than reconcile myself to another of my heroes being a total cunt. Mind you, he'd be in populous company.

Anyway, I scribbled this a few weeks ago and thought I'd share it with you:



apolla: (OTP)
Heather Mills really will do anything, won't she? Even if her accusations (including that Paul beat Linda) are true... wouldn't it have been best to keep it in the courtroom and not everywhere else?

Still, he wouldn't be the only Beatle to have suffered from a giant ego or beaten his wife. He has taken all manner of drugs and quite openly said so. He does drink, sometimes to excess. He does surround himself with people too willing to do exactly what he wants. Still, I find it hard to believe his children would adore him so much if he'd beaten their mother. I don't know. I hope that it's all false- I'd rather believe her a mental fantasist than reconcile myself to another of my heroes being a total cunt. Mind you, he'd be in populous company.

Anyway, I scribbled this a few weeks ago and thought I'd share it with you:



apolla: (Percy)
You all know that one of my greatest heroes is Robert Plant. He was and remains a stone fox of a fellow, has managed to remain a half-decent human being in the face of depravity of Zeppelin-sized proportions, has a healthy sense of humour towards the nonsense of Zeppelin-sized proportions. Most importantly of all things, he has always strived to make the music he loves, album sales be damned. The music is the thing, right?

He's also, as I've always said, one of the best blues singer-screamers this country has ever produced, black, white, green or red.

I have, in some ways, also spent a certain amount of time 'apologising' for Led Zeppelin. "Yeah, they were overblown, but..." "Yeah, his voice is high and scratchy but..." or a really big one: "Yeah, The Zep did nick a riff or ten from old blues songs, but..."

I've always been able to justify the stealing of blues stuff the same way they do: It's what the blues guys have always done anyway and they did new things to them and yeah, some of them got stiffed money wise but their music got to more people than it otherwise might have...

The same old stuff the minions do for their sometimes undeserving overlords. I did it because I loved Zeppelin, because I (mostly) believed in what I said. They did take old music and make something newer and exciting. Harder.

Then as you might know, I recently found myself listening to a pre-Zeppelin band called The Small Faces. They never made it that big in America, but their lead singer Steve Marriott founded Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, and you shoulda heard of the Pie. They were the kinds of Mod back in the day, and in fact were so popular that Steve's famous mod haircut got copied by lots of people and wigs were sold down Carnaby Street claiming to be 'Steve Marriott wigs'. They were mod and pop kings and even brought Australia and New Zealand to an outraged standstill while on tour with their mod rivals The Who.

Steve Marriott was another of Britain's truly great soul singers. I mean, this boy was about as short as me and had more power in his lungs than most turbo-charged cars. That voice could move mountains. I've liked the Small Faces for a very long time, but only putting the Essential Collection (less All Or Nothing, unfortunately) onto my now-fucked iPod kicked me into real gear. That and getting the book of Steve's life.

Then I got Tin Soldier: The Steve Marriott Anthology the day it came out. Three discs spanning Steve's entire career, from his early prodigal days with the Small Faces (he was 21 when he quit, I believe. This after Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, one of the top five psychdelic albums. Seriously.) and through his superstar stadium-playing days with Humble Pie to the last fifteen years of his life spent with a revolving door of bands usually playing pubs and clubs.

Tin Soldier included some Small Faces stuff I hadn't heard before. Including the following song:

The Small Faces - You Need Lovin'

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking you've heard it somewhere before, that they must have stolen it from somewhere. Sure. They nicked it from the same place as these guys did:

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love.

FYI: The Small Faces broke up while Robert Plant was still pissing on people's shoes. They couldn't have stolen it from LZ unless they were actually time-travelling hedonistic gits.

It's not the song so much that galls me, although it does. Musicians have been nicking songs off each other all the time. A whole bunch of bands did Hey Joe all around the same time Jimi Hendrix did the definitive cover. One cover version of a Beatles song came out before the Beatles one did.

It's not that. It's not even that the guitar part was stolen by Bowie for Jean Genie. It is the performance of the vocal part. It is almost exactly the same as that which would make Percy a legend a few years later.

It's not just that Robert's band stole the song, it's that Robert stole the way to sing it. He did that and the song was HUGE. I mean, Led Zeppelin II  made those guys into the plane-using groupie-shagging superstars they were and the record did it on the back of Whole Lotta Love.... and the damn thing was stolen off Steve Marriott!

Robert Plant is a legend and a hero already who has been able to live life at a high standard since the early 1970s. I won't deny he's had his share of sadness and hard times... but Steve Marriott watched Rod Fucking Stewart take his band, knock the 'Small' part off the name and become massive. He watched Peter Fucking Frampton leave Humble Pie and destroy the middle class' collective soul with Frampton Comes Alive!. He watched Roger Daltrey rule the world from a similar stature and less voice. He watched Robert Plant take that performance, right down to the fucking phrasing, and become the 1970s' most tightly-jeaned singing star.

Steve, by the way, thanks to horrible management during the early Small Faces' days (Don Arden, Sharon Osbourne's evil fucker of a dad) and incompetent-turned-horrible-management-record-company Immediate (Andrew Loog Oldham, the old Stones maanger), spent most of his career either nearly-broke or entirely broke. He even wrote a song about it called 'Theme from Skint'. (Skint is cock-er-nee for totally and completely broke.)

I don't believe Steve ever really cared all that much about money- he was happy so long as he could get up on a stage (any stage- stadium or pub, he didn't care) and sing and play his guitar. He was about the music, and that is something I respect eternally. However, he was screwed over time and time again. The Small Faces' catalogue is now in better hands and the rights have been returned at last to the people in the band. Too late for Steve (died in a fire in 1991) and Ronnie Lane (died of MS-related pneumonia in 1998). Incidentally, the people I work for, The PRS, helped the band in their fight for their rights.

I'm getting off the point. The point is this: Robert Plant is/was/ever will be my hero but he plagiarised one of my other heroes. Granted, I've never had the same level of affection for Steve, but what I lacked in affection I always made up in oodles of respect. He has to be heard to be believed, I'm telling you.

So what do you do when faced with the truth of where your hero got one of his greatest/most famous performances from? Well, you find it very hard to listen to a song you once loved. It's hard to hear, hearing inside your head another blue-eyed soul screamer doing the same thing, and not as high or scratchy. I've lost so much respect for Robert on a musical level, and that's so important to me.

It's one thing to spout shit about fairies and Tolkein. It's another to steal off your contemporaries in such a blatant way. I can only surmise that the Small Faces version wasn't heard widely at the time, cos there's no way the old git from the Midlands would've got away with it.

And now I wonder about everything else he does and has done. Sure, Perce has marched to the beat of his own Arabic drums for years now and I've always liked that about him... but it has me second-guessing him. How original is the stuff he's doing? Is it just that I haven't heard what he's stolen already? Or if it is original, is his determination to be so different a reaction to a previous time in his life when he did the worst thing a singer can do to another one?

I've rarely said this about any of the horrible little bastards who occupy my life and iPod, but here it goes: I'm disappointed in him. I'm so fucking dismayed. Sure he was young and inexperienced and all that other bollocks, but so was Steve when he recorded it.

You stole what he did, Robert. I wonder if you have ever felt bad about it. Should we be lucky enough to converse, I will ask you. I don't care if it offends you, because I need to know. You're my hero, man. Jim Morrison sexually assaulting Janis Joplin, Philip smacking his wife... somehow these things matter less. What you did was about the music. You stole it, became a massive star and he died in a fire when on the brink of a potential come back. I wonder if you ever met, ever talked about it. You stole it and I can't ever forgive you for it. Sorry.

However, I did just see the pictures of Robert at the Polar Music Awards in Sweden (one with Anni-Frid from Abba, oddly) and he is still a stone fox. A stealing one.
apolla: (Percy)
You all know that one of my greatest heroes is Robert Plant. He was and remains a stone fox of a fellow, has managed to remain a half-decent human being in the face of depravity of Zeppelin-sized proportions, has a healthy sense of humour towards the nonsense of Zeppelin-sized proportions. Most importantly of all things, he has always strived to make the music he loves, album sales be damned. The music is the thing, right?

He's also, as I've always said, one of the best blues singer-screamers this country has ever produced, black, white, green or red.

I have, in some ways, also spent a certain amount of time 'apologising' for Led Zeppelin. "Yeah, they were overblown, but..." "Yeah, his voice is high and scratchy but..." or a really big one: "Yeah, The Zep did nick a riff or ten from old blues songs, but..."

I've always been able to justify the stealing of blues stuff the same way they do: It's what the blues guys have always done anyway and they did new things to them and yeah, some of them got stiffed money wise but their music got to more people than it otherwise might have...

The same old stuff the minions do for their sometimes undeserving overlords. I did it because I loved Zeppelin, because I (mostly) believed in what I said. They did take old music and make something newer and exciting. Harder.

Then as you might know, I recently found myself listening to a pre-Zeppelin band called The Small Faces. They never made it that big in America, but their lead singer Steve Marriott founded Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, and you shoulda heard of the Pie. They were the kinds of Mod back in the day, and in fact were so popular that Steve's famous mod haircut got copied by lots of people and wigs were sold down Carnaby Street claiming to be 'Steve Marriott wigs'. They were mod and pop kings and even brought Australia and New Zealand to an outraged standstill while on tour with their mod rivals The Who.

Steve Marriott was another of Britain's truly great soul singers. I mean, this boy was about as short as me and had more power in his lungs than most turbo-charged cars. That voice could move mountains. I've liked the Small Faces for a very long time, but only putting the Essential Collection (less All Or Nothing, unfortunately) onto my now-fucked iPod kicked me into real gear. That and getting the book of Steve's life.

Then I got Tin Soldier: The Steve Marriott Anthology the day it came out. Three discs spanning Steve's entire career, from his early prodigal days with the Small Faces (he was 21 when he quit, I believe. This after Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, one of the top five psychdelic albums. Seriously.) and through his superstar stadium-playing days with Humble Pie to the last fifteen years of his life spent with a revolving door of bands usually playing pubs and clubs.

Tin Soldier included some Small Faces stuff I hadn't heard before. Including the following song:

The Small Faces - You Need Lovin'

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking you've heard it somewhere before, that they must have stolen it from somewhere. Sure. They nicked it from the same place as these guys did:

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love.

FYI: The Small Faces broke up while Robert Plant was still pissing on people's shoes. They couldn't have stolen it from LZ unless they were actually time-travelling hedonistic gits.

It's not the song so much that galls me, although it does. Musicians have been nicking songs off each other all the time. A whole bunch of bands did Hey Joe all around the same time Jimi Hendrix did the definitive cover. One cover version of a Beatles song came out before the Beatles one did.

It's not that. It's not even that the guitar part was stolen by Bowie for Jean Genie. It is the performance of the vocal part. It is almost exactly the same as that which would make Percy a legend a few years later.

It's not just that Robert's band stole the song, it's that Robert stole the way to sing it. He did that and the song was HUGE. I mean, Led Zeppelin II  made those guys into the plane-using groupie-shagging superstars they were and the record did it on the back of Whole Lotta Love.... and the damn thing was stolen off Steve Marriott!

Robert Plant is a legend and a hero already who has been able to live life at a high standard since the early 1970s. I won't deny he's had his share of sadness and hard times... but Steve Marriott watched Rod Fucking Stewart take his band, knock the 'Small' part off the name and become massive. He watched Peter Fucking Frampton leave Humble Pie and destroy the middle class' collective soul with Frampton Comes Alive!. He watched Roger Daltrey rule the world from a similar stature and less voice. He watched Robert Plant take that performance, right down to the fucking phrasing, and become the 1970s' most tightly-jeaned singing star.

Steve, by the way, thanks to horrible management during the early Small Faces' days (Don Arden, Sharon Osbourne's evil fucker of a dad) and incompetent-turned-horrible-management-record-company Immediate (Andrew Loog Oldham, the old Stones maanger), spent most of his career either nearly-broke or entirely broke. He even wrote a song about it called 'Theme from Skint'. (Skint is cock-er-nee for totally and completely broke.)

I don't believe Steve ever really cared all that much about money- he was happy so long as he could get up on a stage (any stage- stadium or pub, he didn't care) and sing and play his guitar. He was about the music, and that is something I respect eternally. However, he was screwed over time and time again. The Small Faces' catalogue is now in better hands and the rights have been returned at last to the people in the band. Too late for Steve (died in a fire in 1991) and Ronnie Lane (died of MS-related pneumonia in 1998). Incidentally, the people I work for, The PRS, helped the band in their fight for their rights.

I'm getting off the point. The point is this: Robert Plant is/was/ever will be my hero but he plagiarised one of my other heroes. Granted, I've never had the same level of affection for Steve, but what I lacked in affection I always made up in oodles of respect. He has to be heard to be believed, I'm telling you.

So what do you do when faced with the truth of where your hero got one of his greatest/most famous performances from? Well, you find it very hard to listen to a song you once loved. It's hard to hear, hearing inside your head another blue-eyed soul screamer doing the same thing, and not as high or scratchy. I've lost so much respect for Robert on a musical level, and that's so important to me.

It's one thing to spout shit about fairies and Tolkein. It's another to steal off your contemporaries in such a blatant way. I can only surmise that the Small Faces version wasn't heard widely at the time, cos there's no way the old git from the Midlands would've got away with it.

And now I wonder about everything else he does and has done. Sure, Perce has marched to the beat of his own Arabic drums for years now and I've always liked that about him... but it has me second-guessing him. How original is the stuff he's doing? Is it just that I haven't heard what he's stolen already? Or if it is original, is his determination to be so different a reaction to a previous time in his life when he did the worst thing a singer can do to another one?

I've rarely said this about any of the horrible little bastards who occupy my life and iPod, but here it goes: I'm disappointed in him. I'm so fucking dismayed. Sure he was young and inexperienced and all that other bollocks, but so was Steve when he recorded it.

You stole what he did, Robert. I wonder if you have ever felt bad about it. Should we be lucky enough to converse, I will ask you. I don't care if it offends you, because I need to know. You're my hero, man. Jim Morrison sexually assaulting Janis Joplin, Philip smacking his wife... somehow these things matter less. What you did was about the music. You stole it, became a massive star and he died in a fire when on the brink of a potential come back. I wonder if you ever met, ever talked about it. You stole it and I can't ever forgive you for it. Sorry.

However, I did just see the pictures of Robert at the Polar Music Awards in Sweden (one with Anni-Frid from Abba, oddly) and he is still a stone fox. A stealing one.
apolla: (LZ I)

Has anyone else noticed the Seriously Worrying Similarities between 70s era Robert Plant and Roger Daltrey?

There was a Who video on and I thought, before hearing the sound, that the bloke on the stage was Lord Perce of Wolverhampton.

Seriously though, at the point when both of these men were at the very height of their powers, they looked like the other. The big blond hair, the bare chest (Buttons were a rarity in the 70s, apparently) and the tight blue jeans. Not to mention the wailing. Hell, if you listen to some Who songs, you can even hear Rog playing a harmonica, although not to the same competency as Robert.

Not to mention that both worked with quiet bassists and insane guitarists with questionable personal habits.

I'm worried. If I hadn't seen them do an almost Little And Large routine at the Albert Hall recently, I'd think them the same person. Which makes my current mood icon all the more amusing.

apolla: (LZ I)

Has anyone else noticed the Seriously Worrying Similarities between 70s era Robert Plant and Roger Daltrey?

There was a Who video on and I thought, before hearing the sound, that the bloke on the stage was Lord Perce of Wolverhampton.

Seriously though, at the point when both of these men were at the very height of their powers, they looked like the other. The big blond hair, the bare chest (Buttons were a rarity in the 70s, apparently) and the tight blue jeans. Not to mention the wailing. Hell, if you listen to some Who songs, you can even hear Rog playing a harmonica, although not to the same competency as Robert.

Not to mention that both worked with quiet bassists and insane guitarists with questionable personal habits.

I'm worried. If I hadn't seen them do an almost Little And Large routine at the Albert Hall recently, I'd think them the same person. Which makes my current mood icon all the more amusing.

apolla: (Phantom)

Not much I can say here except that it was an amusing conversation from the start.

 

Pb Dirigible In Pictures. Probably Not Dial-Up Friendly )

apolla: (Phantom)

Not much I can say here except that it was an amusing conversation from the start.

 

Pb Dirigible In Pictures. Probably Not Dial-Up Friendly )

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